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Code of Conduct Assessment Tool Report

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited

June 2012


Conducted by:

28A Hauz Khas Village
New Delhi, 110 016
Tel: +91 11 2651 0915, 2685 0821
Fax: +91 11 2685 0821
Mobile No. +91 98711 08204 / +91 97486 23494
E-mail: radhika@accessassist.org/

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd.
Plot No.79, Care Crystal, Vinayak Nagar,
GachiBowli, Hyderabad - 500032
Tel No. +91 40 44386648
Mobile No. +91 9347088266 / +9191600 01444
E-mail: rajeswari@spandanaindia.com/

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited
Legal Form NBFC About Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited
Date Established
Initiation of Operations
March 2003

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited is a Non Banking
Finance Company (NBFC) established in March 2003.
Spandanas mission is to be one of the most
significant microfinance service provider by offering a
range of financial and non financial products and
services to low income households and individuals to
improve the quality of life.

Spandana started its operations as an NGO in Guntur
District of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1997-98. In
2001-2002, M-Cril rating benchmarked Spandana as the
most cost-efficient MFI in the World. Promoter, Mrs.
G Padmaja Reddy has 30% shareholding in the
Company and around 35 Banks hold preference shares
in the Company. Other Key institutional shareholders
are: JM Financial India Fund, Valiant Capital
Management, Lok Capital, Helion Venture Partners and
SIDBI. Its head office is located at Hyderabad, Andhra
Pradesh. Spandana offers four types of loan products
General Loan (Abhilasha) for women engaged in
business, Enterprise Loan (Pragathi) for mature
microfinance clients (both are group lending products),
Farm Equipment Loan (Karshak) and Loan against
Gold (Keertana) are for men and women and are
individual lending products.
Spandana currently operating with 41.77 lakh
borrowers with Rs3435.92 crores as loans outstanding
through 1,731 different branches in 182 districts of 12
states i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,
Kerala, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,
Gujarath, Goa, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and
Maharashtra. While Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
are the withdrawal states for Spandana, Karnataka,
Goa, Gujarat and Jharkhand are the high focus states.
Operational Area
12 states

Services and Products offered
General Loan (Abhilasha), Micro
Enterprise Loan (Pragathi), Farm
Equipment Loan (Karshak), Loan
against Gold (Keertana)

Lending Model
Joint Liability Group (JLG) and
Average Score Rating Grade
3.50-4.00 AA
3.00-3.49 A
2.50-2.99 BB
2.00-2.49 B
1.50-1.99 CC
1.00-1.49 C

Key Performance Indicators (Institutional reporting)
2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Active borrowers (in 000) 2,432 3,663 4,177
Gross Portfolio Outstanding (millions) 18,683 35,405 34,359
Portfolio Yield (nominal) 27% 27% 21.41%
Financial expense ratio 9.47% 8.46% 8.83%
Operating cost ratio 6.24% 5.97% 6.29%
Operational self-sufficiency 167% 175.5% 100%
Return on Assets 7.67% 9.14% -0.33%
Return on Equity 49.29% 53.33% -1.93%
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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Key Performance Indicators (Institutional reporting)
Branch Offices 944 1,533 1,731
Staff 6,373 10,428 11,696

Loan Products
General Loan
Micro Enterprise
Loan (Pragathi)
Farm Equipment
Loan (Karshak)
Loan against
Gold (Keertana)
Clientele Women Women & Men Women & Men Women & Men
Utilization Small Ventures
Income Generation
Farm equipment Emergency,
Working Capital,
Business, Home
Repair etc.
Loan size Rs2,000-30,000 Rs8,000-15,000
Loan tenure 1 year 2 years 1 year 2 years 3 years 30 to 180 days
Guarantor JLG JLG
Group (5-10
Group (5-10
Hypothecation of
the farm
Gold Jewellery /
Gold Coins
Weekly, Fortnightly,
Tailored repayment Varied repayment
Interest rate 12.5% flat 26%, reducing 19-25%, reducing 12 26%, reducing
Other charges
1% (for client &
1% 1%
Processing fee 1% 1% 1-2% Nil
Security deposit / risk
Nil Nil Nil Nil

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Unified Code of Conduct and the board approved note on recovery practices is displayed in all branch offices
and HO.
Takes less time in loan processing (within a week).
Pricing information verbally as well as written, communicated to clients with break-up.
Clients were able to recall the pricing terms and conditions.
Credit Bureau reports are mandatory and need to be cheeked prior to sanctioning a loan and this is an intergral
part of the appraisal process.
Loan processes are easily acceptable by client with small group size (less time taken for meeting)
Pricing data is transparent, information available publicly. (Shared with MFT & Mix)
Never collected Cash Security from client and also no prepayment charges collected now. \
Employee Behaviour Verifier is a unique system of Spandana wherein the behaviour of the staff is verified from
their family members, neighbours and other acquaintances.
Dedicated Customer Care Helpline for client feedback, issues/ complaints.
Multi level feedback mechanism exists.

Areas to Strengthen:
Staff, especially the frontline staff to be provided training on Code of Conduct
Mechanisms to assess client awareness on a regular basis to be incorporated.
Internal Audit checklist does not have code of conduct compliance.
Client targeting criteria exist but tools for poverty targeting are not used.
No code of conduct compliance report presented and discussed in Board meeting.

Code of Conduct Assessment Report for Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited
Summary of the study
The overall grade obtained by Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited is BB, with a composite score of 2.76, which
indicates that the organization has good appraisal systems, transparent pricing policies to ensure alignment and
adherence to a developed Code of Conduct. The client comprehension across Spandana is needs improvement with
defined Code of Conduct practices. More could be done to improve the staff training, diversity in products and
services offered and feedback mechanisms.

The results of the ten broad assessment categories are summarized in the following table. Detailed analysis is
provided in the body of the report.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Baseline Results for Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited
Assessment Area Score (out of 4.00) Key Elements to be evaluated
Code of Conduct 2.00
Visibility/ Dissemination
Training (Staff)
Awareness (Staff)
Awareness (Client)
Market Entry 3.25
Criteria for identification
Due diligence
Appraisal Process 2.92
Client data collection
Repayment capacity
Debt thresholds
Loan History
Processing time
Client Comprehension 2.83
Client Review Time
Explanatory Channels
Disclosure of prices & terms
Rights and obligations
Training (Staff)
Products and Services 2.35
Design & appropriateness
Pricing 3.14
Security Deposits
Feedback Mechanisms 2.95
Training (Staff)
Client awareness
Staff Resources
Client Exit Interviews/ Drop-out surveys
Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Baseline Results for Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited
Assessment Area Score (out of 4.00) Key Elements to be evaluated
Staff Conduct 2.60
Rule Book
General training
Review of conduct
Incentive/ Disincentive
Recovery/ defaults
Governance 2.92
Member experience/ exposure/ reputation in MF
Code of Conduct Compliance Report
Member attendance in meeting
Human Resource 3.13
Field staff experience/ exposure in MF
Staff Exit
Complaint Redressal

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Code of Conduct Assessment Tool Results

CoCAT revealed the following major observations and priority areas under each component.

1. Code of Conduct Score 2.00
Key Elements: Design, Visibility, Training, Refreshment, Awareness
a. Design
The aspects mentioned in the Unified Code of Conduct of Sadhan and MFIN has been incorporated in the
Spandana Code of Conduct which is also customized on the institutional values, mission, vision and
b. Visibility
Code of Conduct was displayed in all the branch offices in local languages and English (in few of them) and
except on the notice boards, it was not mentioned anywhere in the branch offices or brochures or client
c. Training
There is no exclusive training programme on Code of Conduct for the staff. However, during the induction
and on-the-job training, the staff is briefed about the Code of Conduct and its aspects. The compliance of
these aspects are also verified during their interaction with clients. The elements of Code of Conduct are
covered in the training programs (Regional Managers training and Internal Audit training).
d. Refreshment
There is no refresher training on code of conduct.
e. Awareness
The frontline staff including the Credit Assistants and Branch Managers was aware of the Code of Conduct
and its aspects. Around 20% of the staff has understanding of overall code, details and expectations. During
the meeting with branch staff, maximum members were aware of the Code of Conduct and its aspects.
Around 25% clients have very good understanding of overall code, details, and expectations.

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2. Market Entry Score 3.25
Key Elements: Identification, Procedure, Saturation, Due Diligence
a. Identification
The target segment is women though Spandana does not exclude men. Its focus is towards low income
households among the socially underprivileged. However, while selecting the clients, preference is given to
clients who own houses and who are staying in the respective village / slum for quite a long time.
b. Procedure
Spandana follows a uniform procedure for market entry - general community survey, random household
visits; evaluation formats exists to evaluate new market along with the potentiality of the area / village with
approachable road, political / criminal record, within 30 km radius of branch.
c. Saturation
During the market identification procedure, Spandana does identifies the number of MFIs working in the
new identified market and accordingly takes a decision; if it is more than 2 MFIs are operating, Spandana
rejects the proposal of initiating their operations in that area. However, this is limited to NBFC MFIs since
only these MFIs are currently reporting to the credit bureau.
d. Due Diligence
The branch selection criterion has been approved by the Board and as part of the annual business plan
approval, the geography approval is given by the Board. Moreover, the Board monitors the opening and
closing of branch offices regularly. Research is conducted by the operations and the strategic planning
departments regarding the feasibility of opening a branch office in a particular area and the potential of
member acquisition. Inputs of field staff are also sought prior to finalisation.

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3. Appraisal Process Score 2.92
Key Elements: Client Data Collection, Repayment Capacity, Debt Thresholds, Loan History, Processing
Time, Approval, Verification
a. Client Data Collection
In Spandana, once the interested members meeting is conducted by the CA, they fill the individual loan
application form for evaluation, followed by a 4-day Compulsory Group Training (CGT) by the CA. Group
Recognition Test (GRT) is conducted by the ABM / BM. There is use of peer verification across groups,
information collection from neighbours / household members. However, only primary information about the
member is captured in the database along with the KYC documents. Cross-verification from group members
is also done.
b. Repayment Capacity
Repayment Capacity is assessed during the individual primary evaluation & CGT by CA; critically evaluated
during GRT by ABM/BM on door-to-door basis; information collection on household incomes,
expenditures, assets and liabilities.
c. Debt Thresholds
Loans to clients are given based on the loan cycle, minimum loan size and also the repayment capacity.
However, it was observed in the field that there were clients who were given a loan of Rs20,000 in the first
cycle itself, deviating from this principle. It was also observed that under normal circumstances, the loan size
for the entire group is the same.
d. Loan History
Loan history of the client also captured in the loan application form and it is checked and kept available
during and throughout the appraisal process (CGT and GRT), if the client had long term relation with
Spandana. If the client has any outstanding loans of other MFIs, which is shared by the credit bureau, they
visit the client to recheck.
e. Processing Time
It was observed through the interaction with the staff members and clients in the field that the loan
processing time of Spandana is less than 1 week and this is the USP of the Spandana loan. This generated the
acceptability of customers in the field where other MFIs also working.
f. Approval
Loans are approved by the BM (within the overall threshold of the loan cycles), subject to the approval by
HO based on the credit bureau check. Approval of RM / DM is needed in branch offices rated as risky and
State Incharge / MD approves loans in branch offices rated as very risky. There is limited credit committee
or board involvement while approving loans.
g. Verification
Separate Audit team exist in the organization who conducts audit of all the branch offices in their area, on a
surprise basis. Audit team verify loan documents, all client enrolment documents, transaction related
documents, bank documents and conducts the field audit by attending centre meetings. Audit team submits
their compliance report to concerned branch office with copies to all concerned in the head office. In respect
of appraisal and application process, the IA team checks the loan application form and appraisals of clients on
a random basis.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report

4. Client Comprehension Score 2.83
Key Elements: Client Review Time, Explanatory Channels, Disclosure of Price and Terms, Rights and
Obligations, Staff Training
a. Client Review Time
The terms and conditions of Spandana, product features etc. are informed to the client before formation of
group and the clients were asked to form into groups of 10 members each. They were further explained
during the CGT process. Once the client joins the group and attends the CGT, application is collected in day
1, followed by house visit in day 2 and loan disbursement in a week.

b. Explanatory Channels
There is no other media except the loan card and the verbal communication of staff of Spandana. The
verbal communication channels include: Training by CA during CGT, BM at the time of field verification and
loan disbursement, visits by IA or any other senior members. Except for the GRT by BM and some visits by
IAs / senior team persons to understand the levels of awareness through questions posed to the groups, there
is no other attempt made to make the assessment of clients awareness.
c. Awareness
Except for the GRT by BM and visits by IAs / Senior team persons to understand the levels of awareness
through questions posed to the group, there is no formal mechanicals to assess clients awareness.
d. Disclosure of Price and Terms
The price and terms of the loan are clearly disclosed to all the clients during their personal form filling,
CGT, GRT, disbursement and center meetings (whenever there is a change / modification). Full and
thorough, both verbal and written materials (loan card) are supplied to the client; all pricing information is
broken into fees, interest and insurance premium.
e. Rights and Obligations
The client is given loan if and only if she agrees for the terms and conditions and there is no scope for any
other negotiation or discussion. During the training, the obligations and rights of the client were stressed
f. Staff Training
The frontline staff are provided training on how to interact with clients during the 3-day theoretical training
followed by 3 months field training attached to the seniors. Moreover, staff is explained with examples and
guidance for interaction with the clients, roles and responsibilities of all staff levels and dos & donts to be
followed by the staff while interacting with the clients.

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5. Products and Services Score 2.35
Key Elements: Design and Appropriateness, Review, Diversity, Convenience, Linkages
a. Design and Appropriateness
Earlier both the products were designed on the basis of clients needs and requirements. They have now
been modified as per guidelines issued by RBI with slight modifications based on clients need. Even though
Spandana has 4 loan products, majority of the portfolio is Group loan which is a generic product.
b. Review
To comply with RBI guidelines, loan sizes of Rs15,000 and above are offered for 24 months. For the general
loan, change in fee / interest rates is made. New products like Krishak, Pragathi and Keertana were
developed based on the feedback / requirement of clients.
c. Diversity
Spandana has four loan products which can be broadly classified into two (Group Loan and Individual
Loan). The main differentiating factors are the loan size, repayment frequency and loan tenor in respect of
group loans and in respect of individual loans, it is the collateral, loan size and repayment tenor.
d. Convenience
Spandanas loans are highly convenient which was also shared by clients during the client visits. The clients
need to attend weekly group meetings which are held for 5-10 minutes and recoveries take place in the group
meetings. However, client has to visit the Branch office along with the spouse while disbursement of the
e. Linkages
There is only one linked products with the loan to client i.e., credit life insurance provided to the client.
However, if the client does not want to avail this service, he / she is rejected the loan.

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
6. Pricing Score 3.14
Key Elements: Competition, Transparency, Fees, Security Deposit, Prepayment, Default
a. Competition
Pricing of the loan product of Spandana is very competitive, and the institution has occasionally reduced
interest rates to remain competitive and to adhere with the norms of RBI. The product features are uniform
from the start of operations.
b. Transparency
Spandanas pricing is highly transparent. The pricing information is displayed in all the branch offices and
the individual loan cards. Further, pricing information is made available to the client in the form of total
interest amount, price in fixed flat rate, price in declining interest rate and also in terms of rate per 100 rupees.
c. Fees
Spandana charges two types of fee i.e. processing fee of 1% and insurance fee of 1% to all clients.
d. Security Deposit
Spandana has not collected any security deposit from their client against their loan.
e. Prepayment
There is no prepayment penalty. Only interest for that week is collected and the clients can prepay their
loans at any given point of time.
f. Default
There is no description of the penalties for default. Board has approved the recovery practices in case of
default, but as per the discussions with the clients and staff, in case of default, the peer pressure and group
guarantee mechanisms will be implemented and if the entire group has defaulted, then the persuasion and
discussions with the clients are conducted and there is no subsequent loan for those clients / groups.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
7. Feedback Mechanisms Score 2.95
Key Elements: Existence, Staff Training, Client Awareness, Usage, Checking, Staff Resources, Client Exit
Interviews / Drop out Surveys
a. Existence
In Spandana, multi level feedback mechanisms exist. BMs, RMs, DMs, IAs and all the senior management
staff who visit the field do take the feedback and appropriate steps are undertaken on the same. In addition,
customer care number (non toll free), industry association number (like that of AKMI/MFIN) and also
complaint boxes exist in the branch where clients are free to write / drop their feedback. However, clients are
not aware of the complaint box and tend to call DMs / RMs whose numbers are available on the branch
office display board, in case of any complaints.
b. Staff Training
Training is provided in client relations in different formats including role playing.
c. Client Awareness
Clients have shared that there were no complaints and that they are aware of the contact numbers given on
the loan card. (AKMI number which is a toll free number and Spandana Customer Care number which is a
non toll free number). However, none of them used those numbers. In one case, the clients had requested
for change of center meeting day from Friday to any other day as the Friday being hectic day for them being
close to Maha Lakshmi temple. Inspite of facing the difficulty, the clients did not go beyond the BM.
d. Usage
Feedback mechanism is frequently used by different branches client, more used by the urban clients.
e. Checking
Dedicated systems are in place within the organization across all the branch offices. There is a clear process
to ensure that complaints are processed and resolved. After receiving a call from the client regarding any
feedback / complaint, the staff (at HO level) circulates the same to all senior management staff, operations
head and concerned staff. The concerned staff / department need to discuss with the complainant and should
respond within 24 hours. The complaint need to be resolved within a week.
f. Staff Resources
For client feedback mechanism, there is adjunct responsibility of head office staff.
g. Client Exit Interviews/ Drop out Survey
Client exit interviews / drop-out surveys are conducted by Management Trainees and to gather unbiased
views from the ground. In addition to that Spandana has commissioned a summer Intern (from IIM,
Lucknow) to conduct client survey across two states based on random sampling.

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report

8. Staff Conduct Score 2.60
Key Elements: Rule Book, General Training, Induction, Evaluation, Review of Conduct, Incentive /
Disincentive, Recovery / Default
a. Rule Book
Recovery practices exist which contains dos and donts of acceptable behaviour of staff. Normally, if the
staff does anything that is under the dont list, the staff is terminated. Termination letters are only issued at
the HO. The decisions are taken by a committee comprising of MD, Whole Time Director, COO, IA. The
BM or RM can only report or recommend.
b. General Training
There is no dedicated session / module that demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable conduct for different
tasks. However, the staff are given training on the acceptable and unacceptable conduct for different tasks
through practical onjob training imparted by seniors right from BM to RM level. There were occurrences of
termination of staff for unacceptable behaviours. Other staff have to compulsorily undergo training of 1 day
induction, 2 days CA class room, 2 weeks CA field. .
c. Induction
All the staff, especially the credit assistants, undergo a 90 days induction programme. They would be be
imparted theoretical (and practical training on their roles, responsibilities and the acceptable and unacceptable
d. Evaluation
Field staff are evaluated on a monthly basis and salaries are paid based on the performance. There are harsh
punishments, like termination, if the staff are found to be behaving in any unaccepted way. At the same time,
there exist rules for promotion and increments.
e. Review of Conduct
Evaluation of the field staff as well as branch personnel is done by his / her superior only.
f. Incentive / Disincentive
Incentive and disincentives is based on recovery and outreach but done for first two levels of the field staff
(CA and BM).
g. Recovery / Default
In operation manual of Spandana, broad guidelines for collection in case of defaults are mentioned. No
specific parameters or procedures are defined in the operation manual for the recovery / defaults, no
Turnaround Time (approximate) is mentioned in the operation manual for collection of the defaults.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
9. Governance Score 2.92
Key Elements: Responsibility, Experience/ exposure/reputation in MF, Composition, Role, Code of
Compliance report, Members attendance in meeting
a. Responsibility
Functional responsibilities are well defined in bye-laws and business rules, individual board members
assigned and undertake committee functions on a regular basis. Board of Spandana is very vibrant, each
individual member are assigned their work and are performed accordingly. Several committees are formed
and their report reviewed at the Board level.
b. Experience/ exposure/ reputation in MF
Three members of the board have experience in microfinance. Remaining board members are professionals
with banking / finance related experience.
c. Composition
2 out of 8 board members are female members. There is no representation of clients in the board.
However, there is representation of public institution (SIDBI) and professionals / representation from
investment bankers.
d. Role
There is a role clarity on policy setting, strategic directions as is evident from the last four board meeting
minutes. However, periodic interference by board is seen in financial transparency and disclosure.
e. Code of conduct compliance report
No separate Code of Conduct compliance report is prepared and presented in the board. However, aspects
of the Code of Conduct are mentioned in the other reports presented to the Board. Moreover, Spandana is
planning to provide Code of Conduct Compliance Report from the next FY, on an annual basis.
f. Members attendance in meeting
The average % of attendance of board members during the last 4 board meetings is 75%.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
10. Human Resources Score 3.13
Key Elements: Field staff experience/ exposure in MF, Recruitment, Staff Exit, Complaint Redressal
a. Field staff experience/ exposure in MF
The average tenure of field staff is 739.09 days. The staff taken for this computation are CAs, BMs, RMs,
DMs and ZMs.
b. Recruitment
There is a separate department in Spandana who is responsible for HR functions. Recruitments are done by
publishing the requirements with the job profile in job sites, local newspaper and word of mouth for field
staff. Proper recruitment process followed for each level of staff written, public speaking test and personal
interview. Recruitment is conducted with reference checks. Spandana does not recruit candidates from other
MFIs, especially at the field level. However, it does recruit senior level staff at HO who has experience with
other MFIs, but with proper reference checks. Employee Behaviour Verifier is a unique system of Spandana
wherein the behaviour of the staff is verified from their family members, neighbours and other acquaintances.
c. Staff Exit
There are no exit interviews conducted for field staff. However, for HO staff, exit interviews were
d. Complaint Redressal
A Formal Complaint Redressal mechanism exists in the organization. There is also a separate email id
created wherein staff could send the complaints directly to that mail and it is being monitored by the
Executive Committee which also comprises of MD and ED. There is a whistle blower policy which protects
staff who complaints.

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Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Compliance to RBI Guidelines

The major aspects of the RBI guidelines and its compliances by Spandana are mentioned below:

a) Interest cap on loans at 26 percent per annum: Interest rate charged by Spandana for its main product
Abhilasha is 12.5% flat for a tenure of 50 weeks which translates into 24.6% on declining balance basis.
For the remaining products, Pragathi, Karshak and Keertana, the rate of interest on declining balance is
26%, 19-25% and 12-26% respectively.
b) Loan pricing to include processing fee (not exceeding 1 percent of the gross loan) interest charge and
insurance premium (to be paid directly to the insurance provider): Spandana is currently charging 1% loan
processing fees as per the RBI guidelines issued. Moreover, the insurance charges recovered from the
clients are paid directly to Insurance companies.
c) No penalties for delayed payments, security deposit or margin money to be taken upfront: Spandana is
not collecting any prepayment charges. They collect interest for that week during which prepayment is
being made. Spandana is not collecting any security deposit for the loans.
d) 85 percent of MFI assets being under agriculture, micro and small enterprises: 100% of their portfolio is
under micro, small and medium enterprises.
e) Lending to borrowers whose household income does not exceed Rs60,000 (in rural areas) and Rs120,000
(in urban areas):. Calculating the household income is rural and urban areas is debatable since they do not
have fixed monthly income. Their income is seasonal and is dependant on several factors. However,
Spandana collects a declaration from the applicants on their income levels. The household income of the
clients visited under the study was mixed. Around 10-15% of the client households had an income more
than the amount stipulated by RBI.
f) Total indebtedness of borrower not exceeding Rs50,000: Spandana strictly follows this guideline and does
not lend to members who have a loans from 2 or more MFIs and Rs50,000 as the total loan outstanding.
This is evident from their inclusion of Credit Bureau checks in their appraisal process. This is also
mentioned in their Code of Conduct and followed across all levels.
g) Tenure of loan not being less than 24 months: It was observed that the tenure of the main loan product,
Abhilasha is 50 weeks for a loan size upto Rs15,000. For loans of Rs20,000 and above, the tenure has
been changed to 104 weeks post RBI guidelines. However, many of the clients were found to be asking
for roll back of the tenure to 50 weeks.

Overall, Spandana is compliant on the RBI guidelines issued. However, there is a need to review their lending policies based
on the household income of the clients.

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report


Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd has achieved a composite CoCAT score of 2.76 with an overall grade of BB,
indicating that the organisation requires improvements in several areas. Although there is strong institutional
performance in some areas, there is room to provide technical assistance with a view of strengthening systems.

Highlights and best practices:
Unified Code of Conduct and recovery practices displayed in all branch offices & HO.
The loan processing time is within a week and this was appreciated by the clients. Moreover, the time
taken for meetings is also less and liked by the clients.
Pricing information communicated to the clients verbally as well as written. Pricing data is transparent,
information available publicly, shared with MFT, Mix, MFIN and other networks.
Clients were able to re-call the interest rates and other charges associated with the loans. The behaviour
and punctuality of Spandana staff was appreciated by the clients and they seldom coerced or put pressure
on the clients.
Dedicated Customer Care Helpline for client feedback, issues/ complaints addressed on priority basis. In
addition, multi level feedback mechanism exists.

Areas to Strengthen:
There is a need to develop products and services which are based on the needs and requirements of
clients / members.
Standardized training modules along with pictorials to be developed and frontline staff trained so that
significant value addition is done during the CGT process.
Financial Education need to be provided to the clients / members.
Mechanisms to understand the client awareness and also mechanisms to review the CGT provided by
CAs need to be developed and implemented.
Internal Audit checklist need to incorporate the aspects of code of conduct compliance. This needs to be
monitored and tracked during the internal audit exercise. Based on the findings of this, a report on Code
of Conduct compliances need to be presented and discussed during the Board meeting.

Average Score Rating Grade
3.50-4.00 AA
3.00-3.49 A
2.50-2.99 BB
2.00-2.49 B
1.50-1.99 CC
1.00-1.49 C

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd. ACCESS-ASSIST
Code of Conduct Assessment Report
Annexure 1: Code of Conduct Assessment Tool (CoCAT)

The Code of Conduct Assessment Tool (CoCAT) is a comprehensive instrument used to measure the
development and implementation of policies that best serve the client. Starting with the Code of Conduct,
CoCAT determines whether written procedures have been generated in accordance with the mission and vision of
the institution. Through a careful analysis of internal documents and conversations with staff members, CoCAT
seeks to analyse the alignment between theory and reality, checking at all levels to see how well policies align with
practice. Where possible, CoCAT tries to quantify the parameters to remove subjectivity.

CoCAT has been developed to address some of the ideas that are implicit in Social Performance and Client
Protection, but to do so in a structured manner with set parameters that have to be fulfilled. One of the major
tenets of this tool is analysing the quality of service provided by the staff, and the quality of delivery offered to the
client. Ultimately, the tool is used to identify important policies that could strengthen practices, enhancing the
relationship between customer and institution.

CoCAT has 9 broad assessment components which are further disaggregated into 53 elements. The 9 broad
components are: Code of Conduct, Market Entry, Appraisal Process, Client Comprehension, Products and Services, Pricing,
Feedback Mechanisms, Staff Conduct, and Governance.

Each component is made up of between 4 and 7 elements. Each element has been allocated a Weight that ranges
from 1% to 3% of the total score. The components are weighted according to the sum of their constituent
elements. These elements are given a Score from 1 (Lacking) to 4 (Excellent). In case an element is not
applicable, it is removed from the overall rating and the weights are adjusted accordingly.

CoCAT helps to:
Generate baseline information on institutional conduct and the relationship between staff and clients
Build a practical, experiential profile of the institutions methodology
Understand the formal institutional processes that govern client interactions
Analyse the institutional mentality and correspondence between social and financial missions
Provide detailed information on best practices being followed by the institution

CoCAT is administered in a participatory manner and is a multi-stage process:

1. Collection of primary and secondary data: Website, Annual reports, Audited financial statements; Institutional
manuals (HR, Operations, IA), Training materials; 3
party ratings, etc.

2. Structured discussions: Board, Senior Management, Head office staff, Field personnel

3. Field visit: Branch office discussions with field personnel, meetings with clients, observation of different stages
of the operational process

CoCAT is largely based on observation of behaviour, conduct, and practices. Although the premise is the
existence of a Code of Conduct, the tool is really meant to monitor compliance with the principles laid out by the
organization. If broad principles are missing from the institutions consideration, these will be identified. Other
standards may be written, but may not be turned into any meaningful practice. CoCAT differentiates between
each of these, and provides a comprehensive portrait of the institutions ability to focus on its clients, serving
them ethically and responsibly.